A Tribute to My Friend, Dety

I’m coping with the news of the passing of a dear friend of mine. Dety was only forty years old and died after a life long battle with sickle cell disease. 


She and I met and become close when I lived in Atlanta. I’ve only seen her once since my return to Memphis.  So I am particularly saddened because I had not seen her in person in more than four years. 


Nevertheless, I am comforted because I know -actually anyone that knew her knows-that she was a believer.  I can confidently declare that she is with the Lord. I had the pleasure to know her for more than ten years.  This is a woman that I admired. She was committed to being the woman, wife, and mother God called her to be.  She was a woman of extreme intellect, high standards, a sense of humor.  Originally from Africa, Dety was educated and spoke three languages. 

A Woman of Faith

I don’t believe we ever had a conversation where she did not reference or acknowledge God. She would have sickle cell related crises and she would be seriously ill. Even in those times-when she didn’t feel well- she had a praise. She still acknowledged that God was good and  had hope that he would bring her healing. 

About Family

Her faith wasn’t limited to her health either. She left a  husband and three sons. She gave God credit for the success of and leaned on him for the strength of her family. I watched her decree and declare abundance over her family. When I met her her oldest son was about ten. She would always say, Leonel is going to be a doctor. Well today Leonel is twenty years old. He is in college on a full scholarship in a pre-med program.

A True Friend

She believed in me and lifted me up. Dety always spoke positive affirmations over my life, my family and my goals. She celebrated my successes and we encouraged each other.  She also held me accountable. I will always remember a particular time in my personal life, I was coming up short. She knew I could do better and she challenged me to do what was right. She wasn’t afraid to tell me that I was wrong , that she was disappointed and frankly–that our friendship was on the line.  We were able to work through that time and remain friends. But the more I put that situation behind me, the more grateful I became that I actually had a friend that would held me to high standards. 

I don’t have any pictures of just the two of us. But here is one of those good times we had, where she was supporting me. This is a dinner in 2014 to celebrate my upcoming marriage.


I regret I did not get the chance to see her before she passed and I don’t know if I have ever shared these things with her in person. In my grieving, I’m finding peace knowing that I was blessed to know her and spend time with her while she was here. We learned a lot from each other and I am one of the people that she left better than she found. I want to have the kind of faith she did; even in pain– she had a praise.

She still believed in his WORD. While she lived, she was committed to doing God’s work and lived her life for HIS glory. Now my friend, Dety, has moved on from labor to reward. Well done. 

2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.

One comment on “A Tribute to My Friend, Dety

  • Jennifer , Direct link to comment

    My sincerest condolences to you Erica. May God heal and console her loved ones. Well written article!

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